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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Freeeeedom!

Hooray! I have the weekend off, and I didn't even ask for it! I'm thanking my lucky stars, too, because it's Memorial Day weekend. The bookstore/mall where I work is right off the exits of two interstates, which means a busy few days with travelers coming through. I'm so happy that I get to stay home today and tomorrow!

What will I do with two days of freedom? Hmmm........I have no idea! I think I'll just let the time stretch out before me and do whatever I feel like from moment to moment. I'm going to take it easy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Friday, May 26, 2017

More naps, please.

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This is how I feel this week after several late nights followed by two early mornings at work. I took a long nap yesterday afternoon, and slept in this morning, but I still don't feel like I've caught up on my sleep.

I have a rare weekend off after tonight's late shift, though! I think a couple more good naps will be on the agenda.

Do you like to take naps?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Volunteer Work

A lady in my book club volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem here in Florence County. We've been talking about it off and on for months now, and I finally decided to take the plunge and have her put me in touch with the program director. It looks like I'm going to become a GAL this summer!

A Guardian Ad Litem is an advocate for children who have been abused or neglected and are in the custody of the state. Most are in temporary foster homes until their birth family either get it together so they can reclaim them, or else a permanent adoptive home can be found. In the state of South Carolina, minors are not present at court hearings that determine their fate, and a GAL can be there to testify on their behalf so that the judge can take their wishes into account. Serving as a volunteer means meeting with the child (or children, if it's a sibling group) at least once a month, writing a monthly report on their welfare, and writing a report and appearing in court whenever a hearing is scheduled. Beyond those basics, you can be as involved as you want to be and have time for. There will be 30 hours of training as a prerequisite which will start in July.

I'm super excited about this! I have an Associate's degree in Human Services and have always had a strong interest in social welfare. I've been looking for an opportunity to volunteer some time to a worthy cause, and I would love it if I could eventually find a new (paid) job in the field of Human Services. This opportunity to become a GAL will not only be a wonderful way to volunteer, but will give me new skills, new experiences, and new contacts. A win-win all around.

Here's a link to the program is anyone is interested in reading more about it:

http://scgal.org/state/index.html


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Equal time

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A picture of the Marcoman from 2011 that I particularly like. Posted today to balance out all the photos of the dogs I've shared lately. Fair is fair.

And isn't he beautiful?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Too hot already!

Well, here we go. Temperatures are expected to reach way up into the 90's today.  A heat advisory is in effect for the area for the rest of the week. And it's not even June yet. Ugh.

This afternoon we're going to set up the dogs' little portable A/C in the garage. We're trying to figure out some way to close off part of the garage with tarps, so that the cold air can be concentrated around their bed. Attempting to cool the whole area is expensive and not very satisfactory in terms of temperature. The ideal solution would be to just let them live in the house, but we can't. George might be a danger to Marco and we hate to risk it. Ginger's behavior is exemplary, but she doesn't like coming in the house, having been born out in the country on 14 acres of land with two ponds and plenty of fields and woods to explore. Even after we moved to town, she preferred to spend her days in the back yard, watching the sun rise, napping in the shade, patrolling the perimeter of the fence, etc. The good life for a dog!  Although I'll bet that if she got a taste of the climate-controlled house in the hottest part of the summer she'd quickly learn to love being inside, at least in the summer.

Now that George is here, though, with his prey drive and destructive chewing habits, it's necessary to keep them living in the garage and back yard instead. (Side note: not only do they have a portable A/C for the summer, they have a heater for the winter, a big cozy bed, fans, access to the laundry room, access to the back yard, and a view right into our den via the back door. They're hardly roughing it even if they're not "house dogs").


I need to prepare our house for the onset of hot weather, too. The houseplants that live in the front living room and dining room will have to be moved, so that the blinds and drapes can be drawn--we hardly use those rooms and they have hot westward facing windows. Gregg can't sleep unless the house is super cool at night. Since his lung surgery 5 years ago, he wakes up occasionally in the middle of the night struggling to get a deep breath and gasping. After about a minute of acute anxiety that makes him jump out of bed and pace around, everything goes back to normal and he can breathe again. These episodes are more likely to happen if the room is warm. So power bill be damned, we have to crank down the A/C at night, even now. It's in the daytime, when we're mostly at work, that we need to be conservative with it. Combining our cooling needs with the dogs' makes our summertime power usage soar. No matter what we do, our next four or five bills are going to be scary.

And don't get me started about how uncomfortable being outside will be for the next 5 months. Even at night, it's so hot and humid no one wants to go outdoors.

Yay for summer in South Carolina! (Not).


Friday, May 12, 2017

Reasons to smile

Thanks to my friend Terra over at Terra Garden for giving me an idea for a blog post today. I've been feeling uninspired and a trifle depressed this week, and haven't had much to say here on the blog. Making a list of reasons to smile has got to help lift my mood, right?

Here are a few things that spring immediately to mind:

* Everything about being outdoors right now.
This is such a nice time of year. There's about a thousand shades of green outside. Flowers are blooming in my yard and all over town: jasmine, magnolias, roses (how I envy my neighbors their roses!) the water lily and blue pickerel in Gregg's container pond, bright red geraniums in pots. Speaking of which, I bought myself  a small pot of geraniums at the farm stand down the road. They brighten up our back patio.


Blue Pickerel in the container pond.

*These two sweethearts.


Ginger and George both got baths on my last day off. They both feel and smell so good right now! And sweet? Oh my goodness. These two are always affectionate and happy and full of doggy zen. The hardest part of their day is when Gregg or I leave for work--they watch us getting in our cars and driving away with solemn faces and mournful eyes.

*Small surprises in the mail.
A few of my blog friends and I now correspond through "snail mail" and I love it! Here are two postcards I received just in the last week or so, one from California and the other from Arizona. Unexpected cards and letters in the mail make me so happy! Thank you both!

On the refrigerator for frequent viewing!


What kinds of things are making you smile these days?


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Living Water

This photo popped up on my Facebook page today. It was taken several years ago at Lynches River Park (just a few miles down the road from my house) on a nice spring day this time of year. I grew up around rivers; my hometown is near the Big and Little Pee Dee here in South Carolina. This looks like home to me.

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As some of you may remember, my husband has a large (300 gallon) vat on our back yard patio. There are small local catfish and bream living in there, and we're growing three native pond plants in it, too. Yesterday we went outside to feed the bream and noticed the first bloom of the season floating on the surface of the water...

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All the water around here is teeming with life in May.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Walking Wounded

My husband and I look like we've been in a car accident or something. He has a huge bandage on his forehead (they took a much bigger, deeper layer of skin off than we expected) and I have a forearm covered in a giant purple and yellowish bruise from my bike accident.

We're a nice looking pair today. Ahem.

Speaking of my accident, I told my friend Marian that I hoped none of the neighbors were looking out of their windows when I fell. And she said, "Check YouTube."  Ha!





How's your week going?